Holidays: Matt Allwright gives advice on summer travel
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British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue joined with Heathrow Airport have united to demand travel between the UK and the US to restart immediately.
In a statement today, they said it is “essential to igniting economic recovery.”
At the moment, the UK is banned from travelling to the US.
At the same time, the US is on the Government’s amber list, meaning travelling to the country is strongly discouraged and a mandatory 10 day quarantine is required on return.
However, airline bosses explained that the “world-leading vaccination programmes” in both countries present “a clear opportunity” to safely open up.
They urged the UK Government “to consider removing” the mandatory Covid test for passengers coming from green list destinations.
They also called on the US Government “to consider lifting” entry requirements for UK travellers who are fully vaccinated or who provide a negative Covid test.
The airlines argued that because of the speed of the vaccine roll-out, travel should resume immediately.
British Airways CEO, Sean Doyle, said: “President Biden and Boris Johnson must address the transatlantic ban that is separating our two low-risk countries.
“We urgently need them to look to the science and base their judgements on a proper risk analysis, allowing us to benefit from the protection offered by our successful vaccine rollouts.
“In the UK this means making the traffic light system fit for purpose, including a pathway to restriction-free travel for vaccinated travellers, and getting rid of complexity surrounding ‘amber list’ countries.”
Virgin Atlantic CEO, Shai Weiss, insisted: “There is no reason for the US to be absent from the UK ‘green’ list. This overly cautious approach fails to reap the benefits of the successful vaccination programmes in the UK and the US.
“We urge Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden to lead the way in opening the skies.”
According to a recent study by York Aviation, a second lost summer of international travel could cost the UK economy £56 billion in lost trade and £3 billion in lost tourism revenue.
Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, also said that reopening travel between the two countries is a “critical next step” in the travel and global economy’s recovery.
After the latest travel list review last week, no more countries were added to the UK’s green list.
Portugal, which was on the green list for weeks, was moved to the amber causing great disappointment and anger to both airlines and holidaymakers.
The Government has yet to respond to this petition.
The travel list is reviewed every three weeks, which means the next update is expected to be around June 24.
However, there has been no confirmation of this date.
Britons will be hoping for more holiday destinations to be added to the green list, the US amongst them, ahead of the July summer holiday peak.
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